Jun 19 #29466
Not many OCs representing at Rat Island this year-or even surfskis. But LOTS of open & flat water shells,: quads, eights, doubles & more. Here’s a “BackPack” report, hopefully Kevin Olney will let us know how things looked from the front.
Kelly Watson in her V8 Pro got a good start, braving the crowd of multi rowing shells. I stayed outside, avoiding the flurry of oars, then attempted to catch her. But she stayed steadily ahead, jumping on a quad shell at one point. I watched Kevin Olney fly off, glued to a double.
A friendly guy in a kayak was drafting me, until a motor boat headed right toward Kelly in front of us. She’d lost the quad and waved her paddle to flag the motor boat down. It took awhile for them to see her & turn, so me & kayak guy gained ground. But she pulled ahead again, taking a better line to the island.
Kayak guy shouted that he couldn’t keep the pace, as he took the lead. But then passed me & Kelly & kept going. Current slammed us hard as we approached the island. I had to watch the shore to confirm I was making progress. Saw an eagle devouring its lunch and felt a kinship with the carcass.
I was left behind as we rounded Rat Island & eventually got caught by the departing ferry. I hobbled my ski to the finish line, enjoying the Port Townsend views.
So great to catch up with all our Sound Rowers friends on shore. Special appearance by the Heikkila’s 6-man. They advertised their super cool course for the upcoming Elk River race. Anyone not doing the Gorge Champs should head over there! And on a final note, Shane Baker was in high spirits, claiming 1st on the short course in his rudderless OC.
Jun 20 #29467
Photos by Michael Lampi: